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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

#5 Gratitude and Leadership



Let’s do this, #4, GRATITUDE! We are diving deep into The 10 characteristics and Qualities of a Good Leader.

  • Integrity

  • Delegation

  • Communication

  • Self-Awareness

  • Gratitude

  • Learning Agility

  • Influence

  • Empathy

  • Courage

  • Respect


In November, I wrote about this topic: Two Words Can Change a Culture, and genuinely acknowledging and appreciating another’s effort can transform a culture. The above link will walk you through: how to show appreciation, when, and why.


The steps are quite easy, and free, and seem to motivate staff, so why don’t we freely sprinkle gratitude around like pixie dust? Seems like a no-brainer.


Some believe that showing gratitude and appreciation will detract from the work and make people less focused and careless. “There is no time for back-slappin’. There is work to be done.” The research argues the opposite.


A Glassdoor survey found:

(53%) of employees admit they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss. In fact, four in five (81%) employees report they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, higher than the 38% of employees who say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss is demanding or the 37% of employees who say they’re motivated to work harder because they fear losing their job



Knowing how and when to show appreciation is key. Disingenuous, and your words will have the opposite effect but, carefully planned gratitude will positively affect the culture, raise awareness as to valued behaviors, motivate others to do the same, and encourage similar acts of kindness.


How often do you thank the people you work with? Have you stopped to acknowledge that a big part of your success relies upon others? You will not rise without another.


Elements to consider:

  • Where to show gratitude: some appreciate public displays, and others prefer a quiet comment. Know your audience.

  • Directly tie your appreciation with a specific action and identify the result it created. “Karen, I want to personally thank you for the work you did on the financial forecasting; because of your attention to detail and commitment to our work, I was able to present the material in a concise manner which resulted in a very successful meeting, thank you for your great work. Keep it up!”

  • If you believe gratitude = weakness, I challenge you to try it. Begin with something small and watch what happens. How did the other person react? Did your fear of appearing weak occur?

  • Gratitude is directly tied to people feeling valued. Feeling valued is one of the foundational desires of any employee and creates loyalty, drive, and retention. Additionally, making others feel great will, in turn, make you feel great. Win-win!

  • The Center for Creative Leadership has a great article worth reading.

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